Respondent: Lisa Stassi, Unlicensed, Formal Hearing #3392
Violations: Arkansas Code Annotated §17-42-105(a)(1) and §17-42-109.
Sanctions: The ordered a penalty of $5,000.00 assessed to Respondent Lisa Stassi. Additionally, Respondent Stassi was ordered to pay estimated Commission hearing costs.
Summary: Respondent Stassi was not licensed as a real estate agent in Arkansas when she entered into a contract representing herself as the buyer of the Complainant’s property. Paragraph 13 of the contract, titled MARKETING, stated: "Upon execution of this Agreement, Buyer will have an equitable interest in this property and therefore will have the right to market that equitable interest in any way Buyer deems fit… Buyer may also assign its rights to this agreement." The Complainant did not knowingly agree for the Respondent to collect a fee for the marketing activities listed in the contract. At Respondent's request, the Complainant signed a Memorandum of Agreement which placed a lien on the Complainant’s property until fees were
paid to an entity associated with the Respondent. Respondent did not purchase the property and the Complainant accepted an offer brought by a licensed real estate broker. The lien placed by Respondent Stassi delayed closing for the Complainant and their buyer but was ultimately removed by the Respondent. Respondent Stassi also attempted to collect a commission from the Complainant when the property was sold.
At an initial hearing, the Arkansas Real Estate Commission ruled Respondent Stassi engaged in unlicensed real estate activity. The hearing was appealed and remanded back to the Arkansas Real Estate Commission for a ruling on the question of whether or not Respondent Stassi qualified for the owner exemption under license law.
At the Remand Hearing, the Commission ruled Respondent Stassi’s equitable interest in the property did not qualify her for the owner exemption for licensure under the Statute as it existed in 2015, when the action occurred.